6 Steps in The History Of PR

6 Steps in The History Of PR

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You may believe that PR and marketing are recently invented business tools, but PR, albeit unnamed, has been in existence since around 40000 years B.C. and it started with cave drawings.

  • For UK based activity that we would recognise as PR and marketing we must consider an 18th century political campaign for the charismatic but flawed Charles James Fox (1749-1806.) His supporters used PR tools like the creation of a positive image, endorsement by popular figures and memorable messages to secure public favour.
  • The PR and marketing communities are divided on who the first PR specialist was.

Ivy Lee (1877-1934.)

Edward Bernays (1891-1995.)

Both men had a great impact on the evolution of PR. For example, whilst Lee was a public relations expert who invented the press release, it was Bernays who created the press release we have today.  Bernays perceived PR as a social science which could mould public opinion. He employed his uncle Sigmund Freud’s knowledge to create viable practices.

  • In 1903 public relations became a profession when Ivy Lee was employed by John D. Rockefeller for PR guidance.
  • In 1923 Bernays work “Crystallising Public Opinions” was published. It detailed the core principles of PR and received acclaim. Bernays refused any clients which he felt were unethical; social responsibility was a chief element in his concept of PR.
  • PR and propaganda became closely linked in the publics mind in the early to mid-20th century; and therefore, PR gained a bad reputation. It recovered in the mainstream but even in today’s digital age there is a minority who see propaganda as PR and vice versa.
  • Of course, with the advent of the internet, how the world’s population interacted with each other and sourced data changed forever. PR agency and marketing specialists led initiatives and found invaluable tools to serve their clients excellently.

PR stays one step ahead; monitoring developments in technology and how consumers behave.

2018’s Challenges

It’s clear that the high street is suffering tremendously in 2018 as more consumers than ever use online resources to find solutions to their problems and to make purchases. Digital PR and marketing is integral to success and without a strong online presence it’s almost impossible to prosper. Managing social media accounts is not sufficient; shareable content, SEO improvement, videos, brand storytelling, B2B and B2C media and using influencers online are vital tools for communication that compels consumers to make a positive decision.

Results are directed to the consumer on a search engine by creating matches with the search term they type in; with the arrival of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the home including the Amazon Echo and Google Mini, the marketing must focus on the device rather than the consumer so that the device presents the answer required, namely, the product or service the PR agency is co-ordinating the campaign for.

Please do not try to handle PR and marketing in-house; contact experts like Ceres PR’s team who effectively use techniques developed over several decades to secure an excellent return on investment.

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Dr. Liu has a Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry